Sunday, August 22, 2010
...summer seems to get the best of me and I have trouble keeping up with posting on a regular basis - I apologize!
So here's the latest... We went out to the garden last week to discover to our horror that we have POWDERY MILDEW on all our squash plants!! The zucchini was hit the hardest, but we could see it was spreading to the rest of the squashes. We spent a couple of hours removing dead and nearly dead leaves, and then spraying the plants with a baking soda / water / dish soap concoction the internet has assured us will help stop the spread. We'll see. (Any advice / suggestions welcomed!)
The Dutchess County Fair is coming up this week and we were up at the fairgrounds yesterday to bring our daughter's entry up, plus pick up our 4H wristbands (which for one low price get us parents into the fair free all week). Our daughter entered an item in one of the sponsored contests where they give you the recipe they want you to use. We purchased all the ingredients and got everything out to make the item, only to discover that the recipe LEFT OUT the OVEN TEMPERATURE she was supposed to bake this thing at! Niiiiiiiiiiiice. So I looked up other similar recipes and we decided on a temp to bake it at. It came out a wee bit overdone, but geez, I hope they give the kid a break for their mistake of leaving out that important piece of vital info!!
In cabin news: we got a note from out builder that the windows we wanted aren't available in the green color we want unless we upgrade - to the tune of TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS AND CHANGE. Niiiiiiiiiiiiice!! Haven't decided what we're going to do about that yet...
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Finally, maybe sometime soon, we will have more than just a foundation!
First of all, I'm sorry I was so lax on posting this week. My daughter and I went to visit my best friend, and I was planning on writing a post or two while I was there, but I just got so caught up in visiting that I just never got around to it. My friend has four kids and homeschools, and spending a few days in their lives is just so full and busy. Makes my life seem very quiet by comparison. I don't think I would have been a good Mom of multiple children. I'm totally amazed at how my friend is able to keep them all in line, all helping out, and all such sweet, God-loving kids.
Anyhoo, got a note from the builder on Saturday that WE FINALLY GOT THE BUILDING PERMIT FOR OUR ADIRONDACK PLACE!!!! WOO HOO!!! What a long road and saga it has been. Last time we met with the builder he said his hope was to have it to the point of being sheetrocked and taped by the time "the cold weather comes". So I'd imagine it's going to be full steam ahead because I think "the cold weather" comes pretty quick in the Adirondacks.
Our garden is going pretty well, considering. Actually, for being such newbies, it's exceeded my expectations, anyway. We've had lettuce and zucchini and green beans so far. The tomato plants are just heavy with green tomatoes, I am dying for them to start to ripen. I believe we have more of those "decorative" gourds that are ripening that we don't know what to do with yet, LOL! The cukes are finally starting to take off, as well as the peppers. The pumpkin plant seems to be thriving. So, not too bad for beginners.
Lastly, regarding my daughter and her kidney stones (she has had two episodes in two years - pediatric urologist wanted to do some non-invasive testing) - she completed the 24 hour urine test, and we went for the kidney ultrasound. We go for a follow up at the end of the month. Haven't heard anything from the doctor's office (they must have the results of both tests by now), so I'm taking that to mean they didn't find that she has some horrible life threatening kidney disease or anything (ah, you laugh, but I have like a medical "phobia" or something - my mind irrationally always goes to the worst case scenario - I'm TERRIBLE with "medical" things. I remember when we were at the doctor's when we found out my husband needed a stent for an artery blockage, I had to squat down, I almost fainted. I wish I wasn't this way.).
I am enjoying this very, very cool summer day. I have socks on. I haven't worn socks in like 2 months. I love socks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :-P
Monday, August 9, 2010
Tomato Hornworm with Braconid Cocoons
My husband was out tending the garden this weekend and he found this gross thing on our tomato plants. Of course at first he didn't know what it was called, but thanks to some clever search keywords and with the help of Google images, he was able to figure out what the name of it was - it's a "Tomato Hornworm with Braconid Cocoons".
From TopTropicals.com section on Plant Diseases and Pest Identification:
"This insect is parasitized by a number of insects. One of the most common is a small braconid wasp. Larva that hatch from wasp eggs laid on the hornworm feed on the inside of the hornworm until the wasp is ready to pupate. The cocoons appear as white projections protruding from the hornworms body. If such projections are seen, leave the infected hornworms in the garden. The wasps will kill the hornworms when they emerge from the cocoons and will seek out other hornworms to parasitize."
Can I just say, EEEEEEEWWWWWWWWWWW!!!
So we left it in the garden. However, the next day my husband found a "non-parasitized" one, and he plucked that one off the tomato plant. I was mowing the lawn at the time so he dropped it in the grass and I ran over it a few times with the lawn tractor. :-D
However, despite this weird pest, the tomato plants seem to be doing great, although I'm getting impatient for a tomato to ripen! :-)
In the meantime, this is what our daughter was doing over the weekend, LOL:
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Yes, I Know It's August, But I Found a Way to Earn Amazon Gift Cards That I'm Going to Save Up For Christmas Shopping
I saw this thing called "Swagbucks" on blogs I visit for a while, but I'm not one to usually click on stuff like this - I figure it's some kind of scam. Well Nancy from Raging Bear Ranch wrote a blog post all about this "Swagbucks" thing and since I trusted her judgment, I figured, let me click on her link and look into this. Even though it seemed too good to be true.
Well, surprisingly, it's on the up and up, and it's SO EASY to earn free stuff. I prefer to earn Amazon gift cards because I know I can use them to do Christmas shopping. I figure if I start now, I should have a nice amount earned by the time Christmas comes around. I have $15 of cards already earned. (There are a lot of other rewards you can earn too like electronics (cameras, ipods, etc.), Barnes & Noble gift cards, iTunes gift cards, even Farmville gift cards (didn't even know those existed!), magazine subscriptions, video games, DVDs, and lots more which you can check out for yourself if you want.)
Here's the scoop if you want to check it out:
First go to Swagbucks.com and sign up. (Just so you know, that link there is a referral link and it helps me out if you use that link, should you decide to sign up too - thanks! Or you can click the Swagbucks ad in my left sidebar in case you decide later to sign up.)
There are a bunch of different ways to earn "Swagbucks", which are what you can accrue to exchange for rewards (like Amazon gift cards!). The way *I* earn all mine is simply by using their search page, which is nice and plain - not filled with ads or blinking things at all. I make sure I'm logged in, then all day long, each time I need to search the internet, I use the Swagbucks search page (which I have bookmarked) instead of Google (Sorry Bro! (My brother works for Google)). Every few times you search, you randomly get a message that says "You were just awarded X Swagbucks!". They're pretty generous with the Swagbucks, in my opinion.
In the upper right hand corner of any page on the Swagbucks site (including the search page) it displays a tally of YOUR overall current Swagbucks total. At any time when you have enough Swagbucks for a particular reward of your choice, you just go to the "Rewards" section of Swagbucks.com and redeem your Swagbucks for your gift card, electronics, magazine, whatever. That's it!
There are a lot of other ways to earn additional Swagbucks, but I only do the searching. You can investigate other ways of earning on their website, if you're interested. It's just the searching is so easy, and something I do every day anyway, why not earn gift cards for it, you know? And what do you know, it's actually not a scam! Yes, it's really as easy as it sounds! Really.
This is just something I personally use that I thought I'd share with you guys - I thought maybe I'm not the only crazy person thinking about Christmas shopping in August. Now is a good time to start because I think you could have quite a bit of Swagbucks earned by the time you're "walkin' in a winter wonderland....".
(And after this horrible summer of HEAT AND HUMIDITY, I would WELCOME snowflakes!!!!!!!!!)
Good luck! :-D